Do you dream of being the CEO of a Fortune 500 company? Have you wanted to buy that new home you've dreamed of for so many years? Exactly what is your idea of success?
Success is having achieved that which you determine you will do!
YOU determine what success is for you. It's not based on any judgment other than your own. It's not dependent upon materialistic measurements. And, for some, success is the journey, itself.
Success may be something material, such as money or a new home. It could be something egotistical, as the power and notoriety that comes with the position of CEO. It could be emotional, as finding love and commitment. Success may even be unselfish and altruistic, as seeing children in third world countries healthy and safe. Success has no particular name or identity. There is no one method to describe what success is, other than the definition above. It means something different to each individual.
All successful people, however, have one thing in common -- determination! To be a success, you must first determine to be so. Though not always a conscious decision, the seed that leads to action is to first determine.
Diane's story is a great example of having a desire in the conscious mind, and the subconscious processing it as a determination. Diane's love of writing began in middle school, because her friends were writing short romance stories about their favorite music idols. Diane thought she would give it a try. Her stories became so popular that she began writing them in segments. Her classmates couldn't wait to get the next installment. From that point, she wrote different types of things -- poetry, philosophy, and sometimes only her thoughts. She won a few writing competitions in school, but most of her writings were for herself. It was only a hobby. Something she did to pass time, or a way to put her thoughts on paper. When she entered college, she didn't give writing a second thought. She graduated with a dual degree in psychology and business management. Diane worked in business for several years; then, "fell" into the writing profession.
She thought it just happened; but in truth, each position she held had some writing responsibilities -- first, business reports and editing manuals, then putting together and writing a monthly newsletter for the firm. At the job she "fell" into, she started as a secretary, after having moved to another state. Being used to a heavier workload, they finally gave her a small job to do for their technical writer, who was writing an employee handbook for the firm. Between her regular duties, Diane, who had written a similar handbook at her previous job, filled in the gaps, extended the contents so the handbook was complete, and gave a draft to the technical writer for review. Her assignment was only to lay out what he'd written. To make a long story short, they offered her a job as a proposal writer, and then a position as their engineering documentation coordinator, where she wrote customized engineering manuals. Though it seemed to Diane that she "fell" into the job of professional writing, she had "determined" it years before while writing those short stories in middle school. She has now been writing professionally for over 20 years, including books and novels. When I once asked her why she didn't just go to school for English or Journalism, she said she never thought about it. Her love was psychology. She considered herself to be a halfway decent writer and always believed she would write on some level. She didn't discount writing professionally; it just never crossed her mind.
So, what was Diane's problem? Though on a subconscious level, she had "determined" to be a writer. Why did it take so long? Because there was no clear goal in which ...
Being successful is a two-part process -- determination and belief! Both of which begin in the mind. Diane was fortunate that her determination to write became a career. She began to believe, because the determination was creating opportunities -- her bosses praised her writing and gave her more, college professors praised her abilities, and once a man wept after having read one of her poems. That's when she began to believe in her ability to write. She began to believe she had talent -- if she hadn't, she would not be a writer today. It was enough to thrust her forward to enter the profession her heart desired. She might have achieved her success much sooner had she been consciously working toward it.
It's important to be consciously on your path to success, and equally important to prepare your mind, spirit and body for the success you seek. It's not enough to be an anonymous member of society, who lets others decide your fate. To allow life to "pull you along" creates conflicts, resentments and lost opportunities. Without a clear notion of where you want to be means that you:
End up in situations not to your liking. Why? Because if you don't have a clear idea of what you want in life, you get whatever is left over, causing conflicts by not having what you believe you desire but never
Get the entire 92 page Empowering eBook "Change Your Mind Change Your Life" by Clicking Here
The study measured over 4,000 participants’ brain and cognitive functioning over a 6 year period to arrive at these results. Boiled down to the basics, the researchers found the following activities help our brains remain sharp as we age:
- Mental activities, like reading or doing a crossword puzzle
- Physical exercise, generally the more the better (but even some, such as simply walking for 30 minutes per day, is better than nothing)
- Remaining socially engage with your friends or family
- Maintaining a positive attitude throughout life
- Learning new activities, hobbies or anything that requires concentration and skill-building
Yes, you could always buy one of those fancy brain games for your iPhone or computer if you want. But this study shows that you will gain benefit from simply picking up a book, reading magazines or newspapers, and doing the kinds of pencil and paper puzzles that have been available for free for decades.
Just as importantly, it helps to remain engaged in all parts of your life. As we age, especially as some of our friends begin to pass away, it’s easy to become socially isolated and start becoming a little depressed or sad about life. But such isolation hurts us, not just emotionally, but also physically. Remaining in touch with your friends and doing activities you all enjoy together helps your body, mind and soul keep healthy.
Physical exercise keeps us mentally fit as well. There’s a robust set of research demonstrating the link between people who do some exercise nearly every day, versus those who remain physically inactive. You don’t have to run a marathon to keep up your physical activity. You just need to do something physical at least 3 or 4 times a week. As mentioned earlier, a simple walk around your neighborhood may suffice for some.
We haven’t yet learned how to stop the aging process, much less reverse it. But keeping tips like this in mind may help you stay mentally fit while others start to fade. And although little research has been done on middle-aged and younger adults, there’s little harm in putting these kinds of activities in our every day practice.
Read the full article: Staying Sharp While Aging
Image by kwerfeldein via Flickr
Sometimes in life it’s helpful to have signposts that we can see to help bring us back to the present moment and reinforce a certain way of being that we aspire to. Just like signs on the road may help remind us to slow down or children crossing, we can use short verses in our day to day to remind us to be how we want to be.
Check for auto-pilot reaction before moving on: Take a moment to check in with any judgments that might be arising right now. For example, “short verses? Is he nuts? How could that ever help me?” or “What is this, an affirmation, those never work.” Or “why am I even continuing to read this?” If anything like this arises, this is normal, just take a moment to notice the automatic judgment, let it be, take a breath to help ground to the here and now and then gently continue on with the next paragraph.
Acclaimed author, teacher, and Monk, Thich Nhat Hanh uses short phrases all the time to support himself in being more present, grounded, and aware in daily life. He has taught this practice to medical professionals, Psychologists, and students for many years now. He teaches the practices of walking and/or breathing and using these phrases to support us in calming our distressed minds and being more present to every day life.
- You may take three steps while breathing in and say “Breathing in, I calm my body” and then with the following three steps “Breathing out, I relax.” You can then shorten this to saying “calm” as you breathe in, and “relax” as you breathe out.
- “Breathing in, I notice the colors all around me, breathing out, I smile.” Then shorten to “Breathing in, colors, breathing out, smile.” Even if we don’t feel like smiling, the simple act of doing a half-smile sometimes can change the tension in our faces, which in turn affects our mood.
- “Breathing in, I have arrived, breathing out, I am home.” Then shorten too “Breathing in, arrived, breathing out, home.” Have you ever had the experience where you were rushing home to relax. It doesn’t make sense and isn’t effective is calming the nervous system. Sometimes reminding ourselves that we have arrived to the present moment already and that we are home can help calm an anxious mind. We can then slow down and get home a few minutes later in a more collected and relaxed state.
- “Breathing in, I wash my hands, breathing out, may I use them wisely throughout the day.” Shorten to, “Breathing in, washing, breathing out, wise hands.” This practice can not only bring appreciation to one of the unsung heroes of our bodies, our hands, but also reinforce the idea of being aware of all they do during the day and being more mindful with them. This cultivation of appreciation can support us in feeling well.
These are just some examples; you can make up your own that fit for you. You can do this while walking or just sitting and breathing. And ofcourse, most important of all, don’t take my word for it, try it for yourself. If it’s not for you, cast it aside, but give it a shot. Pay attention to how you are feeling physically, emotionally, and mentally before doing it and then again after you do it for a few breaths.
As always, please share your thoughts and questions below. Your engagement here provides a living wisdom for us all to benefit from.
Your Subconscious Mind
A Step-By-Step Guide
our subconscious mind has immense power in controlling your life
experiences: from the types of food you eat to the actions you take each day,
the level of income you earn, and even how you react to stressful situations.
Every bit of it is guided by your subconscious beliefs and interpretations.
In short, your subconscious mind is like the auto-pilot feature on an airplane. It has
been pre-programmed to follow a specific route and you cannot deviate from that
route unless you change the directions programmed into it first.
What Is The Subconscious Mind?
The “subconscious” is the part of your mind that operates below your normal level of
Right now you’re primarily using your conscious mind to read these words and
absorb their meaning, but beneath that mental focus, your subconscious mind is
busily working behind the scenes, absorbing or rejecting information based on an
existing perception you have of the world around you.
This existing perception began forming when you were an
infant. With every experience, your subconscious
mind soaks in information like a sponge.
It rejected nothing while you were young because you
didn’t have any pre-existing beliefs to contradict what it
perceived. It simply accepted that all of the information
you received during your early childhood was true.
You can probably see why this becomes a problem later
in life! Every time someone called you stupid, worthless,
slow, lazy, or worse, your subconscious mind just stored
the information away for reference.
You may also have received messages about your
potential in life or limitations you’ll face based on your physical abilities, skin color,
gender, or economic status.
By the time you were 7 or 8 years old, you already had a solid foundation of
belief based on all that programming from people in your life, television shows you
watched, and other environmental influences.
How Does This ‘Old’ Programming Affect You Now?
Now that you’re an adult, you may think that you can simply discard the hurtful or
untrue messages you absorbed during your early life, but it’s not quite that simple.
Remember that all of this information is stored below your level of conscious
awareness. The only time you become aware of it is when it limits your progress in
creating a balanced, successful and productive life.
Have you ever tried to achieve a goal and kept sabotaging yourself at every turn?
Maddening, isn’t it? It’s important to know that you’re not defective or doomed to fail
no matter what you do.
More likely you’ve got some old programmed messages that conflict with the new
conditions you want to create.
This is excellent news because it means you can achieve just about anything if
you first take the time to reprogram your subconscious mind!
The Programming Is Still Going On
Before we discover how to reprogram your subconscious, it’s important to know that
the programming still continues to this day. With every experience you have, you
draw certain conclusions and store the messages that will guide your future actions.
For example, what kind of message do you think would be stored if you were rejected
by someone you cared about?
Your subconscious mind (that clever detective) would immediately go hunting
through your memories and find other examples of rejection (like that time your best
friend dumped you to hang out with the more popular kids) and draw a conclusion
that you’re somehow unworthy or unlovable and deserve to be rejected.
Now, here’s the interesting thing: if you have an experience that conflicts with an
already established belief, your subconscious mind will either reject it or reframe it
so it goes along with your existing view of reality.
Here’s an example: Let’s say you have an underlying belief that you’re unattractive,
and an attractive person expresses an interest in getting to know you better.
Most likely the first thing you’re going to think is that it must be a joke or a cruel
trick. You won’t believe that this person could find you attractive because you
already believe that you’re unattractive.
Beneath the surface of your conscious awareness, your subconscious mind is
screaming, “No way!! This person is way too attractive to be interested in me,
something isn’t right here…”
Then you’ll either reject that person before they can reject you, or otherwise do
something to sabotage what could have been a great relationship.
The same thing happens when you struggle to achieve your goals. Eventually you
start to believe that you aren’t capable of success, so you come to expect failure and
end up doing just that over and over again!
You can probably imagine many other situations where your subconscious mind
limits you, but reprogramming it is a simple matter if you know how.
How To Reprogram Your Subconscious Mind
There are many different ways to overwrite the limiting or
damaging messages that are stored in your subconscious
You could work simultaneously with all of these strategies,
but it’ll be much more effective if you pick just one or two
methods to start. You want to give them your full attention rather than skipping
around and diluting your efforts.
Remember, you can always incorporate additional techniques over time.
Have you ever considered the effect of your environment on your subconscious
Remember that your subconscious mind is absorbing
information constantly and drawing conclusions and
forming beliefs based on that information. If your daily
environment is filled with negativity and strife, imagine what
kinds of messages are being absorbed into your mind.
Your first action is to strictly limit the negativity you’re
exposed to from this moment on. Avoid watching the
news unless you absolutely must, and avoid spending too
much time with ‘toxic’ people.
Instead, seek out positive information to read and watch,
and spend most of your time with positive, successful
people. Over time you’ll find that more encouraging
messages are being absorbed into your mind, which will alter
the way you see yourself and your potential.
Your subconscious mind responds well to pictures. Visualization is a great way to
program your mind with positive, empowering images. Try spending 10-15
minutes a day visualizing positive scenes that feature you and your life
Here are some things you may want to visualize:
✴ An abundance of money ✴ A beautiful home
✴ Fulfilling relationships ✴ An expensive car
✴ Passionate work ✴ Exotic vacations
✴ A slender, fit body ✴ Anything else you wish to draw into your life
As you do this consistently, you end up redrawing the negative pictures stored from
your past experiences, fears, worries, and doubts.
To boost the power of visualization even further, be sure to emit strong, positive
emotions while you picture these wonderful things in your mind. Allow feelings of
love, joy, gratitude, and peace to flow through you as if you were truly having
Your subconscious mind will absorb the messages as if they’re real! This is the true
beauty of visualization – the power to bypass limiting messages and focus on
pleasing images, all of which are being absorbed right into your subconscious to be
Affirmations are another effective way to install positive messages into your
subconscious. They work best if you follow a few simple rules:
1. Word them positively, in the present tense. Say “I know I am confident and
successful” rather than “I will be confident and successful” because focusing on a
future condition does not compute with your subconscious mind – it knows only
this moment. Also, use positive statements. Saying “I am not a failure” is
computed as “I am a failure” since your subconscious cannot process negatives.
2. Call up the corresponding feelings. Saying “I know I am wealthy” while feeling poor
only sends conflicting messages to your subconscious! Whatever words you’re
saying at the time, strive to feel the corresponding emotions because your
subconscious will be more apt to believe it.
3. Repeat, repeat, repeat. Affirmations don’t work if you say them just once or
twice. Recite them many times throughout the day for the best results with feeling and emotion. The good thing about this is that you can say affirmations to yourself, so they can fit
seamlessly into your routine.
Brain Entrainment Binaural Beats
Another popular method is the use of audio recordings that deliberately alter the
frequency of your brainwaves. It may sound like something out of a science fiction
movie, but reports from people who’ve tried these audio programs are
Your brainwaves fall into a specific frequency depending on what you’re doing at any
✴ Gamma when you’re engaged in certain motor functions
✴ Beta when you’re fully conscious and actively concentrating
✴ Alpha when you’re relaxed
✴ Theta when you’re drowsy or lightly sleeping
✴ Delta when you’re in deep sleep
“Binaural beats” result when two tones are played at differing frequencies, triggering
your brainwaves to follow a different pattern. For example, if you wanted to shift
from stressed to relaxed you would listen to an audio that triggers the alpha state.
These audio programs can help you reprogram your subconscious mind by creating
a more receptive forum for installing positive messages. Research has shown
that your subconscious mind is more receptive to new information when you’re very
relaxed, such as in the alpha or theta states.
Using brain entrainment audio programs along with affirmations or visualization can
be a powerful combination because your subconscious mind lets down its defenses
so it can easily absorb any message you wish to program in. Simply relax and focus
on positive images!
Hypnosis can be effective in much the same way as brain entrainment programs,
except without the use of brainwave-altering frequencies.
Instead, the hypnotist gradually talks you into a more relaxed and receptive state
and delivers empowering, positive messages to your subconscious mind.
Self-hypnosis is another popular option; you simply use pre-recorded audio
programs instead of a live hypnosis session. You can even record your own selfhypnosis
CDs so you’ll hear your own voice reciting positive affirmations while
you’re in a relaxed state.
How To Know If Your Reprogramming Efforts Are Working
One of the most challenging aspects of reprogramming your subconscious mind is
that you can’t peek inside and see what’s still there that might need to be changed!
Instead, you’ll have to develop a strong sense of self-awareness so you can catch
self-sabotaging behavior before it gets out of hand. Even so, there are still some
clear signs of progress that you may recognize:
✴ You begin feeling stronger, more confident and happier.
✴ You find yourself more willing to take risks and face challenges.
✴ Your dreams and goals don’t seem overwhelming anymore – just exciting.
✴ You feel a deeper sense of inner peace, as if inner conflicts are dissolving.
✴ You attract more opportunities to expand and grow in every area of your life.
In short, you’ll know when changes are taking place in your subconscious
mind because you’ll notice a shift in both your inner and outer being. The
evidence is usually undeniable!
Consistent, Persistent Reinforcement
It’s important to give this reprogramming process time to work. Don’t expect to see
immediate changes (occasionally that can happen, but more often it takes time).
Be very consistent and persistent with the methods you choose to install more
positive messages into your subconscious mind. As soon as these transformations
become apparent, you’ll feel motivated to keep moving forward, but until that
happens, stick with it and know that these changes are lifelong, powerful, and well
worth waiting for!
The bloggers (and media) are still saturating the planet with stories of's stupidity. So much so that she should start demanding royalties. So, are they right? Is Sarah Palin just plain stupid? Or is she smart but ignorant (uninformed)?
Here's an interesting question: If Sarah Palin really is stupid or ignorant - or both - does that necessarily mean that she's not a good, or even great, leader? Going back to the days of Henry Ford, we've heard tale after tale of people who lacked intelligence but were great leaders.
Now that the media has forced me to think about it, based on my own experience, I'm inclined to believe that leadership has little to do with either intelligence or knowledge. To be sure, both are assets, but not essential to the job of a leader.
When I think of great leaders, two essential characteristics come immediately to mind. One is the ability to pick employees or aides who are smarter than they are. The second is the self-assured confidence that motivates others to follow them. Their enthusiasm rubs off on those around them.
In the modern era, Ronald Reagan is perhaps the best example of this phenomenon. I never saw him as a genius, but just about everyone to the right of Rev. Wright saw him as a great leader.
So, if Sarah Palin really is dumb, it begs the question: Does it matter?
Why did her 1982 high school teammates elect a dumb person to be captain of the Wasilla Warriors' state championship basketball team? Why was the same dumb person later elected mayor of Wasilla, Alaska? And why was this dummy elected governor of the state of Alaska in 2006? Finally, why, as late as November, 2008 (before the national media got its trash-Sarah machine rolling at full blast) did her Alaskan constituents still give her an 83 percent approval rating?
Of course, there's another possibility: What if Sarah Palin is smart - and knowledgeable - but simply isn't adept at expressing herself? In other words, maybe, due to a lack of verbal skills, she just comes across as Chauncey Gardiner or Forrest Gump but is really Laura Ingraham upstairs?
... a lot to think about if SP should decide to light the far-left's hysteria fuse and run for president. I don't now what the outcome would be, but it sure would be fun to watch the progressives choke on their collective apoplexy. And the Peggy Noonan Chapter of Fairleigh Dickinson University Alumni frantically raise money to buy airtime for their Sarah-is-a-dumb-hick ads.
Hmm ... since the current system of electing a president doesn't work (you did notice, didn't you?), why don't we just try something new and have everyone vote for the best-looking person in the field. That way, we'd be certain to get a chance to see if Sarah Palin is smart, stupid, ignorant, defective in expressing herself - or just a great leader.
Wouldn't it be fascinating to find that all she has to offer is an incredible amount of common sense and the ability and courage to apply that common sense to all issues, large and small? What if the first thing she said as president was that she is going to fight to cut out every government program not called for in the Constitution?
If that's what you call dumb, you can be certain that an awful lot of Americans would favor dumb leaders. I know, I know ... probably a fantasy ... but please don't awaken me from my dream.